HIROSHIMA Prefecture is located in the western part of Japan, in the Chugoku region. As of March 2021, its population was 2,788,633, and HIROSHIMA city is the capital of the Prefecture.
August 6, 1945 in HIROSHIMA
On August 6, 1945, do you know what happened in HIROSHIMA?
At 8:15 a.m., the world’s first nuclear weapon, an atomic bomb, was dropped on HIROSHIMA. It was far more powerful than any previous weapon. In an instant, it destroyed most of the city, burning it to the ground and killing many people.
On the morning of August 6, the day started business as usual: some people went to work, some did house work, and junior high school students went out to do their daily tasks. An atomic bomb exploded over their heads. The intense heat from the bomb melted the surface of roof tiles up to 600 meters from the hypocenter.
People who were exposed to the heat rays outdoors suffered severe burns all over their bodies and died of heat and thirst. The blast of the atomic bomb destroyed buildings, and the large amount of blown glass fragments injured those who were inside.
But that was not the only damage caused by the atomic bomb. The radiation that poured down with the explosion affected the bodies of people who had little or no external injuries, and many people developed various diseases and disorders and died within a few days after the bombing. Furthermore, residual radiation remained on the ground for a long time after the explosion, and some people who visited the city center for rescue and relief work or to search their relatives became ill or died in the same way as those who were directly exposed.
Radiation from the atomic bombings continued to cause health problems for many people. Not only did they suffer from illnesses, but some of them have developed disabilities caused by exposure in the womb.
Now in HIROSHIMA
After the war, in HIROSHIMA, where the effects of the atomic bombing still lingered, there was a whisper that went something like this. Not a tree or bush will grow in HIROSHIMA for 75 years. One day, however, a canna flower bloomed in the gap between the burnt-out bricks and the burnt-out field.
The population is over 1.19 million, and many plants and trees have been planted in the city.
This is the Peace Memorial Park. In the center is the Cenotaph for the Atomic Bomb Victims.
We have been learning about the atomic bomb since we were in kindergarten and elementary school. Every year on August 6th, the Peace Memorial Ceremony is held. We also offer water to the cenotaph, hoping that the hearts of those who were burned by the heat rays and died in search of water will be comforted.
Future from HIROSHIMA to the World
Seventy-five years ago, just like us, there were people going about their daily lives. They were spending time with their loved ones, envisioning the future, sometimes feeling anxious, sometimes bored, but living peacefully in the present. It is no different from today.
I think many people feel that war is a distant thing. They think it is scary, unknown, and far removed. The reason why we are living in peace in Japan today is because the “past” has been woven into the fabric of our lives, and the intricate “feelings” about war have been passed down to the present. We must not let the war fade into the past. With this in mind, we, as high school students in HIROSHIMA, will transmit and pass on the message of peace.
We will not learn about the past, but learn for the future. We will not think of it as someone else’s problem, but as our own. Through this website, we hope to help you think about the world and the future, even if only a little, in your daily life.